Business: Newly Renovated Brewster Bookstore Holds Grand Reopening April 27

by Debra Lawless

The Brewster Book Store, which was renovated over the winter and early spring, will celebrate its grand reopening on April 27, the 11th anniversary of Independent Bookstore Day.

“It’s been really exciting,” store co-owner Jessica Devin said last week during a telephone interview about the extensive renovations that changed and opened up space within the 42-year-old store’s building at 2648 Main St. The reorganized space will allow for expanded author talks, writing workshops and classes year-round.

Events on reopening day will be geared for both children and adults. One children’s event will be the visit of Caldecott Prize-winning author/illustrator Sophie Blackall, who will sign copies of her new children’s picture book “Ahoy!” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And for adults, there is the Golden Ticket Treasure Hunt. Whatever lucky reader finds the golden ticket in the store will win a full year of audio books from Also, everyone who makes a purchase will receive a free advanced reader’s copy in the genre of the reader’s choice — but the book will be wrapped, and the title a mystery.

“It adds a little mystique to it,” Devin says.

In October 2021, Devin and her business partner Sue O’Malley bought the bookstore. Devin’s mother and aunt were the store’s sole employees many years ago, and Devin, along with her siblings and cousins, also worked there.

Last fall, the parking lot behind the store was expanded. Renovations to the building began in the winter. On a recent morning Emma Lang, the store’s marketing and events coordinator, shows a visitor around the renovated space. The store remained open during the entire process, when some walls were removed and others were stripped down to their bare studs.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Lang says, adding that customers have been great through the entire construction process. As renovations spread out “the store slowly condensed itself and now it will be expanding.” By that she means that the store’s inventory of about 32,000 books that had to be squeezed into a small space will now be spread out in the new space.

Devin says the store isn’t exactly gaining space. A former lawyer’s office was used recently as a “pop up space” and the rest of the interior was “carved up. It really didn’t flow with the store. It will be organized in a way that will make sense.”

Brian P. Daley Construction of Brewster did the work. Today an electrician is completing his renovations to the lighting. You can now enter the building’s renovated one-story room, until recently a lawyer’s office, via a low ramp rather than a stair. Bookshelves and tables that had been stored in pods were brought into the room during the second week in April. This space will display nature, cooking and gardening books for children and adults. It will also have a second check-out counter. At the rear of the room is a handicapped-accessible restroom.

Because this room was basically a step lower than the rest of the building, an internal ramp has been created.

“The floor is raised so it’s accessible for everyone,” Lang says. A second indoor ramp takes you up yet another step into the original room of the store.

The bookstore was originally in a single front room in the older part of the building that began its life as a house. According to town accessing records, the building was constructed in 1930, and through the years it has been used as an antique store and a real estate office, Lang says. Vintage elements of the original house remain in the pressed tin ceiling in the front room and in the fireplace, now covered over with bookshelves. All of these elements help to enhance the unique, warm feeling of the store. (A former apartment upstairs is now an Airbnb rental called “The Book Nook.”)

The store will close on April 21, 22 and 23 so that employees can arrange the books in the newly renovated spaces. It will reopen on April 24 with a soft opening, with the grand reopening following on April 27.

At the same time that renovations to the store were progressing, plans for the garden behind the store have moved along. That work is being done by Devin’s brother, landscape designer Donald MacKenzie. When the garden is fenced in from the road and completed, it will add additional space for story times and author talks. The goal is to complete the project by the summer.

The store will host four Cape Cod authors for the 38th annual Brewster in Bloom celebration in May. On Friday, May 3 at 3 p.m. Barbara Eppich Struna of Brewster will sign copies of her new novel “The Old Cape Map,” and Iris Glazner Leigh of Chatham will sign her debut novel “Liza’s Secrets: A Cape Cod Thriller.” On Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. Casey Sherman will sign “A Murder in Hollywood: The Untold Story of Tinseltown’s Most Shocking Crime,” followed at 2:30 p.m. by Adrienne Brodeur with the paperback launch of her novel “Little Monsters.”

For more information on these events visit or call 508-896-6543.

Local Shops Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day

The 11th anniversary of Independent Bookstore Day will be held this year on Saturday, April 27, and you can get into the spirit of the day through author signings and special events at several local bookstores.

Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore at 432 Main St. in Chatham, which will celebrate its 20th summer this year, will host an author’s book launch and a treasure hunt, and display a wagon of merchandise and giveaways, says co-owner Caitlin Doggart.

Author Iris Glazner Leigh will launch her debut suspense novel, “Liza’s Secrets: A Cape Cod Thriller,” set in Chatham. This is the story of a woman who escapes from her abusive husband in New Jersey in the middle of the night. The book poses the question: What would you do if you had to start all over again? Inspiring the novel is Leigh’s professional work on preventing bullying. Leigh will sign her book from 2 to 4 p.m.

A golden ticket from the indie-supporting book download site will be hidden somewhere in the bookstore. The lucky person who finds it can redeem it for 12 audiobook credits at The bookstore is also launching a listening station in the bookstore so customers can familiarize themselves with

Just down the street at Yellow Umbrella Books at 501 Main St., drawings will be held for gift certificates in the amounts of $100, $50, and $25, says store owner Eric Linder. Author Keith Yocum of Chatham will debut his second mystery, “Dead in the Water,” from 1 to 3 p.m. “Dead in the Water” opens with commercial fishermen discovering an abandoned boat sporting a trail of coagulated blood. Trouble ensues. Stacie, a reporter who comes to Chatham to investigate the crime, first appeared in Yocum’s 2021 mystery “A Whisper Came.” Both books will be available.

Sea Howl Bookshop, 46 Main St., Orleans will serve wine and cheese from 2 to 5 p.m., says owner Kazmira Nedeau who co-owns the store with her husband Jonathan. Also, the store will give away totes and other gifts with $50 purchases.

Since 2013 Independent Bookstore Day has been a nationwide celebration of independent bookstores that promotes and highlights the value of the independent bookstore community.

April 27 will also kick off the 2024 Cape and Island Bookstore Trail. As well as the three stores mentioned here, participating bookstores in our area include Brewster Book Store, 2648 Main St., Brewster (see separate story); Below the Brine Bookshop, 554 Route. 28, Harwich; Reed Books, 537 Main St., Harwich; and Annie’s Books and Gifts, 25 South Orleans Road, Orleans. Readers who visit a certain number of stores are eligible for prizes and gift certificates. Visit for more details.